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Treasurer Hayes Warns of Suspicious, Unofficial Unclaimed Property Websites or Notices

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 12:53:31 EDT

**State Treasurer Seeking Rightful Owners of Property, Urges Caution Against Suspicious Websites**

AUGUSTA - New scams, promising to return unclaimed property for a fee, are targeting Maine residents through unofficial websites and notices in the mail.

State Treasurer Terry Hayes is warning residents to be wary of these websites and to be cautious of mailings or emails stating that you have unclaimed property with the State of Maine. "Each year, new schemes are created that attempt to take advantage of Mainer's familiarity with our Unclaimed Property Program. While there are many differences between our program and these schemes, the easiest way to spot a scheme is if it asks for payment information." says Treasurer Hayes.

The Office of the State Treasurer does maintain a list of unclaimed property, and receives new properties each year. However, there is no fee for you to review the list, or to claim your property. To ensure that you are obtaining the correct information for unclaimed property with the State of Maine, go to the official website https://www.maine.gov/upsearch target="_blank"> maine.gov/upsearch or call the Treasurer's Office at (207) 624-7470. To search for unclaimed property in other states, visit https://www.missingmoney.com/main/index.cfm target="_blank"> missingmoney.com a nationally recognized database of state unclaimed property programs.

Unclaimed Property consists of cash and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of time. It includes, among other items, checking accounts, certificates of deposit, over payments, gift certificates, life insurance policies, unpaid wages, uncashed checks, death benefits, dividends, insurance payments, refunds, savings accounts, stocks and contents of safe deposit boxes. Unclaimed Property does not include real estate, animals or vehicles. During the period from July 2016 through March 2017, over 17,000 Mainers reclaimed more than $13 million of lost funds.



Treasurer Hayes Announces $16.1 Million in Unclaimed Property Returned to Mainers

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 12:16:55 EDT

##State Treasurer Holds Financial Assets on Behalf of Mainers, Finds Rightful Owners AUGUSTA - The Office of the State Treasurer, today, announced the return of $16,117,529 of unclaimed property to Mainers during Fiscal Year 2016. This property consists of financial assets that have gone unclaimed by their owners.

"FY'16 was a record year for unclaimed property claims," said Maine Treasurer Terry Hayes. "Over the last 12 months, we have reunited Mainers with $16.1 million in unclaimed property that rightfully belongs to them. This total includes 107,978 individual properties. Mainers should check our website to see if we are holding property that belongs to them, or someone they know," Hayes added. Mainers can search for their lost assets on the Treasurer's Website: http://www.maine.gov/upsearch.

The record amount returned in fiscal year 2016 can be directly attributed to Treasury's collaboration with members of the Maine Legislature. State Representatives and State Senators have been reaching out to constituents to encourage them to search Treasury's online database. "Our elected officials know their neighbors and have played a major role in helping Treasury return record sums to Mainers in the past two fiscal years," Hayes noted.

Unclaimed property consists of cash and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of time. It includes, among other items, checking accounts, certificates of deposit, over payments, gift certificates, paid-up life insurance policies, unpaid wages, uncashed checks, death benefits, dividends, insurance payments, refunds, savings accounts, stocks, and contents of safe deposit boxes. Unclaimed property does not include real estate, animals, or vehicles.

The State Treasurer may be holding unclaimed property which belongs to you. Millions of dollars are turned over each year to the Treasurer of Maine by businesses and organizations that have been unable to locate the owners. If your name is on the list, you can file your claim electronically at http://www.maine.gov/upsearch. There is no fee charged to process your claim. Also, you do not need to pay anyone to help you make your claim. Link to Search Unclaimed Property List: http://www.maine.gov/upsearch

Link to Uniform Unclaimed Property Law: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/33/title33ch41sec0.html

To reach Unclaimed Property by telephone: (207) 624-7470



Treasurer Hayes Warns of Fraudulent Letter and Unofficial Unclaimed Property Websites

Fri, 26 Feb 2016 10:43:13 EST

AUGUSTA - Letters sent from a Massachusetts address, claiming to be from a prominent national unclaimed property organization, and promising to return unclaimed property from a sweepstakes prize to rightful owners, are not being sent by the Office of the State Treasurer, or the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, according to Maine Treasurer Terry Hayes.

"These letters, being mailed from out of state, are not from the State Treasurer, or any reputable Unclaimed Property organization. They are fraudulent. It's unfortunate that this entity is seeking to exploit our state's unclaimed property program. I recommend that people who receive this notice do not respond in any way."

"Additionally, my office has been made aware of several websites that seek to collect fees to search for properties. There is no need to pay a fee to search for, or to file a claim for property. I continue to encourage Mainers to check the state's official Unclaimed Property List at http://www.maine.gov/upsearch and to make claims on their rightful property," Hayes added.

Official unclaimed property notices will never direct owners to pay money, whether for processing fees, tax payments, or otherwise, when searching unclaimed property, or filing a claim. This is a very important red flag when dealing with unclaimed property. The State Treasurer's website, http://www.maine.gov/upsearch is free of charge to search and claim, as is the national website, www.missingmoney.com.

The Office of the State Treasurer and Maine State Legislators do utilize the mail to notify owners of unclaimed property. There are a number of ways to differentiate legitimate official notices from those that are not. Notices from the Maine State Treasurer will be mailed from an Augusta, Maine return address; they will direct owners to an official State of Maine website (maine.gov); they will advertise the Treasurer's local phone number (207) 624-7470, and they will bear the official seal of the State of Maine and the signature of the Treasurer.

Unclaimed Property consists of cash and other financial assets that are considered lost or abandoned when an owner cannot be located after a specified period of time. It includes, among other items, checking accounts, certificates of deposit, over payments, gift certificates, life insurance policies, unpaid wages, uncashed checks, death benefits, dividends, insurance payments, refunds, savings accounts, stocks and contents of safe deposit boxes. Unclaimed Property does not include real estate, animals or vehicles. The Office of the Maine State Treasurer is currently holding $225,000,000 worth of property that belongs to Mainers.